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shining of brahman and not its own shine. The 'reality' of the universe is actually the reality of the substratum that is brahman. When the movie appears on the screen, what is real is the screen, not the movie; because the screen is the only thing that is present before, during and after.
That Thou Art is the famous Grand Pronouncement (mahA-vAkya) found in the Chandogya-Upanishad of the Sama Veda, meted out by AruNi to Svetaketu. It is repeated nine times to him and explained nine times. It is not supposed to be a casual statement. It is the summum bonum of all Upanishadic teaching. It says: That brahman which is the common Reality behind everything in the cosmos is the same as the essential Divinity, namely the Atman or the Self, within you. This latter is the innermost core of our selves and so seems to have an individuality of its own. In saying that it is the same as the unqualified brahman in the infinite cosmos, we seem to be identifying two things, one that is unlimited and unconditioned and one that is possibly limited and conditioned.
Whenever someone says, for instance, that the person (call him B) whom you are meeting just now is the same as the one whom you saw (call him A) twenty years ago at such a such a place, what is actually meant is not the identity of the dresses of the two personalities of A and B, nor of the features (those of B may be totally different from those of A), but of the essential person behind the names. So whenever such an identity is talked about we have to throw away certain aspects which are clearly distinctive in both and cling on to only those essentials without which they are not what they are. B and A may be engaged in distinct professions, B and A may be having different names, B and A may be having different attitudes towards you or towards a certain issue, B and A may be posing as different persons, by, say, showing off different passports, -- but still they are the same, is what is being asserted. So when brahman and the individual Self are being identified in this statement, we have to see what commonality or essentialness there is in them that is being identified. brahman is the cause of this universe. But this is a predication of brahman and is extraneous to the identity that we are talking about. We want the essentiality, the svarUpa-lakshaNa of both. (For two types of lakshaNas go to The absolute As It Is). The capability of creation is only a taTastha-lakshaNa of brahman, that is, it is a definition which is only indicative, and does not distinguish it from everything else. The Self of Man appears to be limited by an individuality which keeps it under the spell of Ignorance; this is extraneous to the essentiality of the Self. So what we are identifying is brahman, minus its feature of being the Cause of this Universe
July 31, 99 ©Copyright V. Krishnamurthy Home Contents Next